The Ferry is run by The Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company.
A community owned and run company and we work to maintain the unique Glenelg to Skye ferry, the Glenahulish, as a Scottish National Treasure. The Glenahulish is the only turntable ferry of it’s kind in the UK. We want your experience in crossing on the ferry to be truly memorable and the hope the spectacular scenery , the wildlife ...and the unique ferry experience will make your day special.
Only a tenner, or £15 return, is avoids using the Skye Bridge and takes in some of the best scenery in the south of Skye - a must of you want to enjoy some of the hard to reach sight on the Isle. It runs every 15 minutes - tons of photo opportunities as seals are oten seen in the bay.
Don't miss this road trip. It's a spectacularly beautiful route, offering super views across the Sound of Sleat and down into Loch Hourn.
The road is narrow but has passing places and viewpoints, so enjoy!!
As you near Arnisdale, the road descends very steeply onto the shoreside and runs through the tiny hamlet. The largest building is Arnisdale House, built in 1898, which actually didn't seem to be holiday accommodation. What a superb house and location, with the massive slopes of Beinn Bhuidhe towering over from behind.
From Arnisdale there is a small year round passenger ferry that crosses Loch Hourn to Barrisdale on Skye and also Kinloch Hourn thus enabling folks of that inclination to reach truly remote parts of Scotland.
The road continues on to the last outpost, Corran.
Very picturesque but well off the beaten track.
Another wet and murky day. Off we set on the motorbike, in full waterproofs, to find these Brochs. There are three in this valley, the furthest away,Dun Grugaig, is little more than a pile of stones and is off the road. Really you should walk the half mile or so but we made it on the motorbike. Not over impressed with this one but the next one back, Dun Troddan, is in pretty good shape and you can actually walk inside the chambered walls.
The one nearest the main Glenelg road, Dun Telve, looks good from the road, as much of the external wall is still standing. On closer inspection, the far wall has gone and there isn't as much remaining as Dun Troddan as you can't get into the walls. Still, when you consider how old these dwellings are, they have alot going for them. They must have been incredibly well designed and constructed.
Brochs were built throughout Scotland during the Iron-Age, over 2000 years ago, by the Picts. Built close to the coast, they were constructed in defence against raiders. They were of circular construction and those that are better preserved have a similarity to power station cooling towers!! The walls built around a circular courtyard were double skinned, with rooms in-between
and it is thought these Brochs weren't lived in full time, only when raiders were sighted would the people retreat to them.
Cotinue on the road from Arnisdale for another half mile or so and you reach the end of the line, Corran. This is an ever so pretty fishing village with nothing more than the odd house, a row of cottages and by the shore, a few old fishing sheds complete with corrugated iron roofs. It's all very much an "end of the world" feel and it is such a peaceful spot. Only the sound of birdsong and the sea. Marvellous.
You must park in the small carpark, complete with chickens, and walk over the bridge crossing the fast flowing Arnisdale River into the village. The road follow the shore and set back is the row of cottages where no doubt you will see the stags toddling along to Sheena's Teahut. Don't miss the opportunity to sit in Sheena's garden and share the tranquil setting with the stags and the friendly garden birds. (See restaurant tip.)
From Corran, an old ponytrack leads all the way to Kinlochhourn, as well as the popular hike up 3,200ft. Beinn Sgritheall. It all looked a little too strenuous to us!!!
Simple, breathtaking beauty without the crowds.
Sandaig and it's islands is the place where Gavin Maxwell lived and wrote Ring Of Bright Water in the 1950's. Here, he introduced foreign otters (his pets) to the area and the place where his house stood and the grave of his pet otter, Edal are marked by memorials.
We didn't realise how steep this walk was going to be as the track was diverted down a precipitous and very slippy path. It seemed to go on forever until suddenly, through the trees there was a glimpse of a beautiful beach. There was still a fair bit to go, round the river and through the bracken and finalyl out onto the beach. There are lots of small islands complete with the type of seaweed otters prefer, the white sand beaches littered with seashells and it all looked ideal territory for wild otters which still favour the place today. I looked and looked but the only sign I had was a pile of old otter spraints. Still, evidence they had been there!!!
There is an old cottage on the beach which we thought was Maxwell's, but apparently not as his was burnt and now marked by a memorial.
It's a lovely location, just a long way to carry any picnics and drinks you may need to help you recover after the demanding descent. Actually, going back up didn't seem to take as long although I was pretty puffed by the time we got back.
Sat in a field not far back from the beach at Glenelg are the substantial remains of Bernera Barracks. Although they are now fenced off due to the delapidated state of them, you can still walk quite close to them.
These imposing buildings, which lie at the end General Wade's military road, (part of the Ratagan Pass route) were built by the government after the 1715 Jacobite uprising, completed by 1723 and were designed to provide defence against light attack. They were also a safe and secure base for the troops to patrol the area from.
It's quite eerie to stand and look at these ruins, wondering why they haven't been preserved and made safe for those interested in visiting. Now, trees grow inside and a particular chimney stack most definitely doesn't look too safe.
It's thought that stone was taken from the iron age brochs further inland to be used in the construction of the barracks.
Another wet day. What should we do? We'll hop over to Skye with the motorbike on the Kylerhea ferry and have a walk to the Otter Haven.
As the drizzle set in, we boarded the tiny ferry that was waiting at Kylerhea. Just as it was about to set off, another motorbike arrived. He couldn't believe his luck in not having to wait. I think in season the ferry runs every 15 mins or so or when it has it's full quota of people, 20 being the maxim. Return price for us and motorbike; £8.
It's a great experience and the ferry (privately owned) operators are friendly, knowledgeable types. Yes, they were having a busy summer, despite the weather and they seemed to enjoy their jobs.
Once across, (literally about a 5 min. crossing) we headed off to the Otter hide This is up a steep, narrow road where there is a small carpark. This was already full when we got there at 10.30am so I was glad we only had a motorbike to find space for!!
From the carpark (nice views cross the Sound of Sleat, naturally) you walk along a forest track for a couple of kilometres until you arrive at some toilets and a shelter. From here you branch off to the right and the hide is not far. As you can imagine, it was full,being a wet day!!!! There are windows all round and house binoculars to view with. There was not a sign of any otters but we did see plenty of seals, both in and out of the water. Never mind, it was something to do....(open 9.00am until just before dusk, daily.
From here, we drove up to the top of the Bealach Udal pass we could see from where we were camped. Not quite as steep as it looked. Views were meagre, owing to the low cloud. We sat by a waterfall where there was a breeze and therefore no midges and ate our picnic lunch, in the rain. And then we caught the ferry back. I can now say I've been to Skye.